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Old 09-30-2014, 08:05 AM   #1
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Jacksonville, to by-pass or not to by-pass

We will be taking I-95 from Maryland to Orlando, Florida this coming February. We have a 36 foot motor home.
In planning our route, I am wondering if when we get to Jacksonville, Florida.... would it be OK to simply stay on I-95 through the city, OR take the bypass around town and pick up I-95 south of the city?

The time difference and distance is enough to consider going straight through the city, but I remember back in 2002 when we did this there was substantial road work along there. In 12 years, not sure if the problem is any better or worse.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Ed
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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We made that drive about a month ago and we always use the bypass. I don't recall any road construction and if there was any, it did not impede our travel. Staying on I95 through Jacksonville always seems to present more excitement than I care to experience.

Good luck on your trip and hope you enjoy yourself as you trek south.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:36 AM   #3
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We go that way several times a year and always use the bypass. Go on the east side, it is shorter and less truck traffic.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:36 AM   #4
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We just took that route at the end of August, coming up from Fort Myers to Baltimore, with our new Bay Star. It wasn't bad at all. I do not remember any construction. We went through that area at about 4-5 PM on a Saturday. The only thing I would strongly reccomend you bypassing is much closer to home. DC and Virginia are a nightmare. I would reccomend you take 301 South and join in to Rt 95, South of Richmond. Its a much easier drive. From the Capital Beltway (495) down to Richmond is a constant backup, with HEAVY traffic. 301 may be a little longer (not by much), but it will be a much more enjoyable drive.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyEddy View Post
...The time difference and distance is enough to consider going straight through the city............. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
Ed

Ed.... The east side bypass only adds 3 miles (3 min) to your trip. The west side bypass will add 14 miles (14 min). The west bypass is farther from the downtown and away from the coast, so probably has less traffic. In my view both are short enough to be no factor in the decision. Even absent downtown construction I would take either of these just to avoid an urban expressway, which are always pretty well beat up by the direct truck traffic.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #6
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We've always gone straight through. Try not to hit it at prime drive time M-F 7-9, 4-6. We've hit traffic but no backups and route is fairly well marked.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:58 AM   #7
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Thanks all.
You gave me the information I was looking for.
As for Washington DC... I'm very familiar with that problem.
Going south, I plan to hit 495 around 3 am so will be as little traffic problem as possible. Hope to get south of Richmond via 295 by 6:30 or 7am
Not sure what I'll do coming back yet.
Ed
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:42 AM   #8
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Local

I live in Jacksonville and prefer the bypass options also.

Definitely avoid downtown at rush hour. It is stop and go, very slow.

Big rigs use both I-95 and the 295 bypass depending on traffic conditions.

The Bypass is smoother and a much more relaxed drive.

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Old 09-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
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JohnnyB,
It sounds like the East side bypass is the way to go.
Thanks for the good advice everyone..... it's appreciated.
Ed
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
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Cool

I just did that run round trip from NY to Orlando in Aug. I have a 35' MH with a tow dolly so I am 65" total. Went straight through I95 at midday Fri. Had no issues light traffic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BPoland View Post
We just took that route at the end of August, coming up from Fort Myers to Baltimore, with our new Bay Star. It wasn't bad at all. I do not remember any construction. We went through that area at about 4-5 PM on a Saturday. The only thing I would strongly reccomend you bypassing is much closer to home. DC and Virginia are a nightmare. I would reccomend you take 301 South and join in to Rt 95, South of Richmond. Its a much easier drive. From the Capital Beltway (495) down to Richmond is a constant backup, with HEAVY traffic. 301 may be a little longer (not by much), but it will be a much more enjoyable drive.
"BPoland"
Are there ant tolls on 301? How about the bridge you cross. Also what is the road like, traffic lights, conditions etc..

Thanks
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:50 PM   #11
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We always go around Richmond, from home in North Jersey to Disney it adds 1 mile and 4 minutes to the drive... well worth it to skip that Richmond mess. Never tried wrapping around Jacksonville... usually just so happy to be in Florida that we go straight through.
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Old 09-30-2014, 05:11 PM   #12
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I always go straight through. Last March came north and no construction at all. Went thru midday on a Monday and no problem except in mid town the speed limit drops to 55 for a couple miles. Hope you have great trip.
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Old 09-30-2014, 05:17 PM   #13
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I'v been using the bypasses until last year when I fond both Richmond and Jax I-95 much quicker - just not at commuter hour.
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Old 09-30-2014, 05:19 PM   #14
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We just traveled thru I 95 south bound from the national rally in Myrtle Beach. We are very familiar with the route. However, their is an over abundance of construction going on. I would certainly take the east side 9A.
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